Scenic USA - West Virginia

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Gauley River

Gauley River

Photo by Ben Prepelka

     East of Charleston, West Virginia, the Gauley River has carved a scenic gorge through the state's typically beautiful, but rugged terrain. More than 25 miles of this stretch of river falls under the protection of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. By early September, whitewater enthusiasts stream into the area ready for prime season. The Upper Gauley is thought to be one of the best whitewater rivers in the country, with its extreme whitewater class 5 and 5+ rapids. The river drops 668 feet in 28 miles, creating more than 100 vigorous rapids.
     Pictured here is a summertime flow, when water volume is decreased. This rather tame looking river, without the large volume of water, creates more rock obstacles and steeper rapids, calling for the correct type of watercraft. Some of the turbulent chutes are softened with names such as Sweet's Falls and Pillow Rock. The names of Iron Ring, Lost Paddle and Shipwreck should give advance warning to the wise.



    Copyright 2008 Benjamin Prepelka
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